Extra content #1: letters between Leonard and his friend Lavinia.

Dear friend, Duke Leonard Mephisto,

You must come back. The dukedom is in a state of outward riot, and the rebels have taken over two of the outer cities near the realm of Duke Gusion. You asked in your last letter when this began, and why I did not notify you. The answer to your second question is rather plain: I was under the impression that you already knew. All rulers should know the goings-on in their area of rule! 

As for when it began, I believe it was back in December. It was just after Christmas – you know how they get after that – and the people were complaining because a certain someone, I’ll leave it to you to work out who, was inside your borders again, and taking all of the extra stuff (for lack of a better word) that we gave them to keep them down during Christmas. Well, they didn’t like that very much, which is understandable, and when they went to the steward you put in charge, he didn’t have anything to give them, which they liked even less. He directed them to go to one of your neighbors, Prince Stolas, and they did go, but it turned out that he has even less than they originally did, and wasn’t going to give any of it over. That made them even angrier, so they went back to their homes and demanded more things from your poor steward, who had almost nothing in the first place. 

I’ll bet you can imagine where this is going. That captain you have commanding the militia – who is really a diamond, I have to say, and I’ve always wondered where you found him – got everyone back in their homes alright that time, but a few days later a woman’s adopted child starved and moved into the second circle, and all the people fit to fight showed up at the door of the hall and, well, I’ll spare you the details, but it wasn’t pretty, and your steward is dead.

The captain’s in charge now, but he’s a military man, and is doing a hack job of ruling the dukedom. After all, he can’t fight the rebels and rule, and so they’ve taken the towns. I went to survey them myself, along with your captain. They’ve barricaded the outer walls with stone and wood and all sorts of things, so that it’s near impossible to break through. They have a lot of guns, too, and hostages. 

In short, you had better come quickly if you want to have any dukedom left.

Regards, 

Duchess Lavinia Allocer

Dear friend, Duchess Lavinia Allocer,

The captain’s name is Nicolás Tecualt, and I found him after he was just a bit too overzealous in putting down Texan rebellion in the ‘30’s. You can see why I would put him in charge of something like this, and why I am confident that someone with his experience can have the job done, though if what you say is true you should give him leave to ask someone else for help. Sallos, perhaps, he never says no.

Do remove Tecualt from being the steward. Some men were made to rule, some were made to serve. Tecualt is of the latter camp, as he himself will attest. 

I am yet unable to return to my dukedom, as I am engaged with a current project. I have met a man named Johannes Moth, who seeks certain knowledge that only I am able to bestow upon him, and who wishes me to be his patron. I seek to enlighten him, bring him into my service, and… patron him? Whatever. In any case, I am as yet unable to return. Please have someone else take charge, or take charge yourself, if you have so many good ideas about how my dukedom should be run.

Yours truly,

Duke Leonard Mephisto

Dear friend, Duke Leonard Mephisto,

Please stop ending your letters with ‘yours truly.’

As per your request, I have removed Captain Nicolás Tecualt from his position. The current steward is a capable woman named Harriet, who I believe is a former slave from America. She’s good friends with Tecualt, I believe, and have since been working well together. Still, the rebels are inching closer into the dukedom, conquering various towns and burning everything they can’t eat. It’s rather violent and counterproductive of them, if I do say so myself. They’ve delivered a list of grievances to the steward, saying things they want changed, which I’ve included with my letter. I am sorry to say that most of them seem to be things that we are unable to change, without the consent of the prince, which he can’t give which we probably will not be able to get. 

I apologize that my letter is so brief, but I have problems with my own dukedom (duchessdom?) that dearly require my attention.

Regards,

Duchess Lavinia Allocer

Dear friend, Duchess Lavinia Allocer,

Do you remember the last time you sent me desperate letters about an uprising in my dukedom? And I arrived and found that you had blown them so far out of proportion that the issues were hardly recognizable?

What about the time before? When you said there was talk of rebellion and I got there and discovered that they had been talking about how best to celebrate the steward’s birthday?

Before that? When you thought that they’d murdered the steward, stirred everyone into a frenzy, and he had to come home from his vacation to prove you all wrong?

Understand, Duchess Lavinia Allocer, that after all these happenings I am less than inclined to believe that there is truly an uprising in my dukedom. 

I highly approve of your choice of Harriet as the new steward. The woman has real leadership qualities, and I do think there’s something about her that makes people want to follow her. I trust her judgement in whatever is going on down there, and if there’s really any sort of rebellion she will be able to sort it out.

See that Tecualt is restored to his post, and that he gets as many soldiers as he should require. Make sure that the pair of them know they have my leave to take any action they should need to. 

Yours truly, 

Duke Leonard Mephisto

Dear friend, Duke Leonard Mephisto,

I tried to warn you that it was best to nip this in the bud. Half of your dukedom is under the control of the rebels, and the prince has taken notice. I am afraid that I am unable to stop him in any action he should take. I will have to return to my own concerns. Best of luck with the letters and the prince. 

Regards,

Duchess Lavinia Allocer

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